Nikki Gardiner, Clinical Lead for Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Leicestershire and Beat SCAD recently collaborated to create a poster for the British Association for Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR) conference on 6 and 7 October and we’re delighted to say that it won best poster!
Nikki used data from Beat SCAD’s cardiac rehab survey to investigate whether cardiac rehab services support SCAD patients.
Our survey found that although 86% of SCAD patients were recommended to attend a cardiac rehab programme, only 40% attended, which is a lot lower than the average figure for attendance in the UK which, according to the BHF is around 50%.
Only 39% of SCAD patients felt their cardiac rehab professional had knowledge of SCAD and, from what patients tell us, this has an impact on the benefit they get from rehab.
Many patients have told us their rehab focused on prevention of atherosclerotic disease, but as SCAD is not caused by atherosclerosis and cannot be predicted or prevented, this led to feelings of isolation and frustration among patients.
Some rehab teams do make the effort to learn about SCAD and this can have a positive impact on the patients, and some teams try to tailor the rehab programme. One example of a tailored programme was developed at Vancouver General Hospital taking into consideration SCAD patients’ psychosocial needs. Nikki told us that she received a lot of positive feedback from cardiac rehab healthcare professionals who said they are including SCAD within their services, which is great news.
The emotional impact of SCAD can be significant and due to the younger patient population, SCAD patients are at high risk of post-traumatic and other mental health problems and patients who had access to psychological support during rehab have benefited. However not everyone has access to that help.
The poster concluded that cardiac rehab healthcare professionals are ideally placed to support SCAD patients, but improvements are needed in terms of knowledge and understanding of the needs of this patient group.
Nikki said: “I was over the moon to receive this award, which was voted for by the BACPR conference attendees. I’m so pleased to be involved with the Beat SCAD charity to help raise the awareness of SCAD and promoting the importance of Cardiac Rehabilitation for this population.”
Congratulations to Nikki and thanks to her, Dr David Adlam (SCAD expert at Glenfield Hospital), Professor Sally Singh, Head of Pulmonary & Cardiac Rehabilitation, Karen Rockell (former Beat SCAD Trustee) and Sarah Coombes (Beat SCAD Trustee) for their hard work putting the poster together.